Great visual presentation is important in all professions and industries. But when it comes to modeling, it’s an absolute must. Models need an impressive portfolio website to represent themselves online and distinguish themselves from others in the field. A high-quality online modeling portfolio can make all the difference - and we’re here to show you how to create one.
Let’s start with some great news: you don’t need to spend a fortune to set up a modeling portfolio website. Even if you’ve never created a site before, you can learn how to make a portfolio yourself using a website builder like Wix. Wix’s tools and guidance to set up an eye-catching online presence that will boost your modeling career.
This step-by-step guide will explain how to create a modeling portfolio, walking you through the various steps for this type of website, from selecting the right template to showing off your full range of skills as a model.
What is a modeling portfolio?
A modeling portfolio, also known as a modeling book or comp card, is a collection of professionally-shot photographs that showcase a model's appearance, skills and versatility. It serves as a visual resume presented to potential clients, such as photographers, agencies and brands, to demonstrate the model's capabilities and suitability for various modeling jobs.
Ready to create an online portfolio? Start designing yours today.
How to create a modeling portfolio
01. Decide on your modeling type
Before you get started on your modeling portfolio, dedicate some time for a bit of soul searching. Pinpointing your modeling type will help you narrow down and focus your portfolio, so that potential clients will be able to easily identify your area of expertise and assess whether you could be the right fit for the job.
If you’re an experienced model, the chances are that you’re already rooted in a specific niche of modeling. For aspiring models, consider which area within modeling you’re interested in and best suited for.
Look into each modeling type and its set of requirements. For example, while commercial models tend to vary in height, size and age, promotional models working at trade shows and other events are normally required to be friendly and approachable. Is your portfolio going to be clothing and fashion based? Or more focused on make-up work?
02. Arrange a professional photoshoot
Your photos are the stars of the show on your modeling portfolio. Make sure to truly show off your skills by investing enough time and effort into a professional photoshoot. If your portfolio is going to act as your modeling resume, you'll need to make sure your photographs reflect your talent and experience.
The first step in planning a successful photoshoot is choosing the right photographer. This is best done through recommendations or browsing through photography portfolios online. Ideally, the photographer you hire will be experienced in the field. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you can look for a student or a photographer who’s just starting out in the industry.
Once you’ve found your photographer and arranged a time, make sure to come prepared on the actual day of the photoshoot. This means everything from choosing the right outfits, to practicing your poses and getting your hair and makeup done - preferably by a professional. Remember to sync with your photographer and prepare a shot list beforehand. This will help everything run as smoothly as possible on the day.
03. Show your versatility
While it’s best to be associated with a particular modeling type, when it comes to style and shooting angles, try to present your full range of abilities. Whether you're more Karlie Kloss or Ashley Graham, don't forget to show it off. Potential employers, scouts, talent agents and modeling agencies want to see versatility and flexibility in models. This is especially true if you’re just starting out and don’t yet have a strong signature style.
Demonstrate to prospective employers that you are capable of working in different types of productions by including a mix of images in your online modeling portfolio. This means photos that vary in style and artistic vision, as well as shots that show off different angles and takes on your features.
04. Choose the ultimate template
Now that you’ve done your photoshoot, it’s time to pick the website template that best suits your needs, style and personality. When considering your options, go for a portfolio template over a personal web page, that will help you shine and give you the website layout you need to share your complete body of work.
Once you’ve chosen your ideal template, you’ll be able to fully customize every detail, from the images you upload, to the gallery style and written content. By selecting one of Wix’s professional website templates, you can rest assured that the final result will be pixel-perfect, whether or not you’re a web design pro.
05. Present your best shots
After completing a photoshoot or project, you’ll probably have a huge collection of images to sort through. For a truly professional portfolio, it’s crucial that you only include the work you’re proudest of. A handful of successful photos is better than a never-ending scroll of mediocre ones. Around 10 to 20 images should be enough.
Remember that oftentimes, people who browse your portfolio won’t have the time or patience to look through your entire gallery. Prepare yourself for that by giving prominence to your best shots or to the most prestigious projects you’ve worked on.
In particular, pay attention to the first few images that viewers see the moment they land on your website. Create a striking homepage design that includes a range of eye-catching photos of yourself, in order to demonstrate your skills and versatility from the get-go.
When selecting your best shots, keep in mind that there are a few basic types of photos that you should include in your portfolio: headshots with and without you smiling, mid-shots and full-body shots, possibly in different outfits and locations.
06. Include high-quality images
This point is vital in making sure your modeling portfolio is impressive and effective. Compromising the quality of the images will make you appear unprofessional, and you also run the risk of putting your greatest assets as a model at risk of being overlooked. Don’t let pixelated images come between you and your career.
On top of choosing only the sharpest visuals, use a professional gallery to ensure your images look their very best. The Wix Pro Gallery will automatically optimize your images, so you won’t have to worry about the technical side of things. It will also enable you to customize your gallery layout, add smooth hover effects and choose which shots to emphasize.
07. Use diverse media
Still photos will clearly play the definitive role in your modeling portfolio, but why not keep things interesting by adding different types of media? Show off your full range of capabilities by adding any videos and commercials that you’ve worked on. These can help reveal aspects of your professional demeanor that static images may not.
You can either embed videos directly onto your site or upload videos from external sources like YouTube and Facebook. If you’d like to create a short video yourself, check out Wix’s video maker to put together a few images and video clips that will entice your audience and add a dynamic touch to your modeling portfolio.
08. Share all the vital information
Whether or not you choose to write a resume and upload it to your model portfolio, bear in mind that there are a few essential details that potential employers will be looking out for.
Models are usually expected to share information like age, height and other body measurements, as well as hair and eye color. You may choose to include additional features that are unique and appealing about you (tattoos, acrobatic skills, birthmarks, or anything else that might make a photoshoot more interesting).
09. Add a contact section
What’s the use of creating a modeling portfolio if people can’t get in touch? Make sure that prospective employers or clients can easily reach out to you.
Your contact information can appear as a separate page, in your website footer or as a section within another page, such as your About page. Either way, make sure it stands out and can be found intuitively.
When creating a contact page, include basic details, like your name, business email address and phone number. You can also add a live chat widget so that visitors can contact you easily and get an instant response. Another option is to create a contact form, enabling people to reach out directly on your site.
10. Stay social
We recommend that you connect your social media profiles to your portfolio by adding a social bar to your website. This will offer viewers an additional channel through which to see your pictures. But more importantly, your social pics reveal another side of who you are, by providing a fuller picture of your personality and abilities.
Use professional social accounts if you have them, but even personal accounts can work, as long as they don’t depict aspects of your life you’d rather not share with colleagues and employers. If you have an impressive Instagram account or are in the social media marketing game, you can also set up your Instagram feed to show directly on your model portfolio.
11. Get personal with a blog
Creating a blog is a great way to inject some personality and added value to your online modeling portfolio. It offers you a place in which to share experiences from behind the scenes, tips about fashion and beauty, inspiration and more. In addition, running a blog will offer opportunities to casually promote your site by sharing the link on social media. Using your professional portfolio as a personal marketing portfolio is never a bad idea.
If you’re unsure where to start, browse online to find some impressive blog examples by other models and professionals from the industry that you admire.
Online modeling portfolio examples
Want more guidance on how to create a modeling portfolio that will rock the entire industry? It’s time to get visual. As well as reading up on web design tips, check out these Wix-made model portfolio examples and learn from real-life professional models with a fantastic online presence:
02. Hanis Firuz
03. Karlie Kloss
Why is a modeling portfolio important?
A modeling portfolio is a crucial tool for aspiring and established models alike. It serves as their visual resume and marketing material, showcasing their talent, versatility and professionalism to potential clients, such as photographers, agencies and brands. Here are some key reasons why a modeling portfolio is important:
1. Attracts potential clients: A well-curated portfolio acts as a powerful magnet, attracting the attention of agencies, photographers and brands seeking models for various projects. It's the first impression, and a strong portfolio can open doors to new opportunities and advance a model's career.
2. Demonstrates talents: The portfolio provides a platform for models to showcase their range, versatility and professionalism. It allows them to highlight their strengths, such as facial expressions, posing abilities and adaptability to different styles.
3. Promotes brand: Models can use their portfolio to build their online presence and establish their brand within the industry. It's a way to create a unique identity and differentiate themselves from other models.
4. Boosts confidence: Building a strong portfolio can boost a model's confidence and self-esteem. Seeing themselves in high-quality images and realizing their modeling potential can enhance their overall presence and performance.
5. Serves as a career document: A modeling portfolio is a dynamic record of a model's growth and experience. It reflects their evolution as a model, showcasing their development and ability to adapt to different styles and projects.
6. Provides direction and goals: The portfolio helps models identify their strengths and areas for improvement. It allows them to set career goals and tailor their portfolio to specific modeling niches.
7. Attracts future collaborations: A well-crafted portfolio can attract potential collaborators, such as stylists, hair and makeup artists, and photographers. It opens doors to creative partnerships that can elevate a model's career.
8. Serves as a negotiation tool: A strong portfolio can strengthen a model's negotiating position when discussing contracts and compensation. It demonstrates their worth and market value to potential clients.
9. Enhances professionalism: A well-maintained portfolio reflects a model's dedication, organization and commitment to their craft. It conveys a sense of professionalism and maturity to potential clients.
10. Serves as a marketing tool: Models can use their portfolio to promote themselves on social media, modeling websites and online directories. It's a powerful marketing tool that can expand their reach and attract more opportunities.
What should your model portfolio website include?
A model portfolio website should be a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate platform that showcases your best modeling work and professional information. It should serve as a calling card for potential clients and agencies, effectively representing your brand and capabilities as a model. Here are the essential elements that should be included in your model portfolio website:
High-quality images: The cornerstone of your portfolio is a collection of high-quality images that highlight your range, versatility and professionalism. Choose images that represent your diverse modeling experience, including headshots, full-body shots, editorial shots, runway shots and commercial shots. Ensure the images are well-lit, sharp and professionally edited.
Categorized portfolio: Organize your images into clear and well-defined categories, such as editorial, commercial, runway, lifestyle and fitness. This structure allows potential clients to quickly navigate to the type of work they are seeking.
Contact information: Make it easy for potential clients and agencies to contact you by providing clear and up-to-date contact information. Include your email address, phone number, social media links and agency representation if applicable.
'About Me' section: Include a brief and engaging "About Me" section that introduces your personality, background and modeling aspirations. Share your experiences, interests and what makes you unique as a model.
Resume or tearsheet: Provide a downloadable resume or tearsheet that summarizes your professional modeling experience, including your measurements, runway experience, notable bookings and any special skills.
Mobile optimization: Ensure your website is optimized for viewing on mobile devices, as potential clients may access it from their smartphones or tablets. Responsive design and easy navigation are crucial for a seamless mobile experience.
Regular updates: Keep your portfolio updated with your latest and most impressive work. Regularly add new images and remove outdated ones to reflect your ongoing modeling career.
Professional presentation: Maintain a professional and polished look throughout your website. Use a consistent design style, high-quality images and a user-friendly interface.
SEO optimization: Optimize your website for search engines to improve its visibility. Use relevant keywords, meta descriptions and alt tags for images.
Social media integration: Link your social media accounts to your portfolio website, allowing potential clients to follow your work and connect with you on other platforms.
Modeling portfolio FAQ
What should be in your modeling portfolio?
A modeling portfolio should showcase your best work and highlight your unique look. It should include a variety of photos, such as head shots, full-body shots and lifestyle shots. You may also want to include some of your runway or print work.
How do you make a modeling portfolio?
There are a few different ways to make a modeling portfolio. You can hire a professional photographer to take your photos, or you can take them yourself. If you choose to take your own photos, be sure to use a good camera and lighting.
Once you have your photos, you need to create a portfolio that is easy to navigate and professional looking. You no longer need to create a physical portfolio by putting your photos in a binder or portfolio case; you can create an online portfolio by uploading your photos to a website.
Do models need a portfolio?
Yes, models need a portfolio to show potential clients their work. A portfolio is a great way to showcase your unique look and experience. It can also help you get noticed by casting directors and agents.
If you are serious about modeling, it is important to create a portfolio that is well-curated and professional looking. Your portfolio should be a reflection of your unique look and style. It should also show potential clients that you are serious about your career.
How much does a modeling portfolio cost?
The cost of a modeling portfolio can vary depending on factors such as the photographer's experience, the number of images and the desired level of editing. However, as a general guideline, expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for a basic portfolio package.